I woke up in my new home today with the morning light shining in through the kitchen window, hitting the steam from the french press on the counter. It gracefully danced it's way up the beam of light and disappeared. This really got me thinking about this next phase of life... Honestly, I have been unmotivated to say the least when it has come to writing lately. Dealing with the nonstop pace of life I've adapted to, unexpected circumstances, a friends death, and the tiresome reality of "job hunting". Sometimes you have so many thoughts it becomes difficult to put them into a structured fashion. Sitting down and writing ultimately makes you process things in depth; which requires energy that I haven't found in the last few months. But this morning in particular has triggered that spark in me to jot down some dreams and really to update you on my whereabouts (seeing as that can be difficult more often than not). So here is a short post of sorts...
Hospitality: The friendly and generous reception and entertainment of guests, visitors or strangers.
In 2013 I drove out to California with no job, no sure place to call home and not much of a plan. Over the last 4 years I have genuinely experienced the definition of true hospitality. For my first year I lived with the BEST couple (shout out to Sherrey & Jason) who welcomed me with open arms and were almost offended when I tried to pay for rent. After moving into my car I traveled around and stayed on couches and campsites, enjoyed dinner parties, ran around the west coast and lived life well with numerous people. Sharing memories in a warm cozy house or seeing faces light up by the campfire as we shared laughs and songs deep in the woods or on the shores of the ocean. I've been floored to see God's love shine through close friends or strangers who I can now call friends. There's a feeling so deep and special one can grasp onto in the midst of true connection with people who love others intentionality. While traveling in New Zealand I met so many lovely people who understood that type of connection that we need in the world. I think it's the same kind of attention Jesus talks about in the story about the Good Samaritan. Empathy and compassion go hand in hand with changing the world for the better. I am in a stage of my life right now where I know deep down I need rest; rest from being on the road, always wondering where I'm going to sleep at night. Though I love the adventure and the whimsical feeling it gives me, I have learned there is a season for everything. I've chosen to pump the breaks and live somewhere until God tells me otherwise (I know, WILD) but the true reason is, so I can give back in a way. These last few years have taught me so much about myself but also how important it is to share life deeply with others. It brings me so much joy now to think of all the people I get to host in my new home! To welcome weary travelers who need a shower and a good meal, to open my home to strangers who desire safety, for friends to call me last minute and need a place for them or someone they know. This is something I hope our home can foster well. There are constant references to hospitality in the bible; instructing us to open our homes to strangers and to be there for people in need. I look back on the times I've been given to adventure and explore and it has been so insightful. Seeing people open their space up to me in such a genuine way and to offer time to share in stories. Thank you to those friends reading who have offered that to me, I feel blessed beyond belief. It has given me a chance to grow into who I am now, learn about so many who are different from me and to fuel the flame of exploration that has been in me since I was a little girl. But as I slow down I get to reflect and realize, yes, there will be more of that to come, I look forward to spontaneous trips in the future or more times to travel this beautiful earth. As for now though... I am blessed to have a home and to allow others to call it their home as well.
SO! The life update: I live in Oceanside, California for the time being. I just accepted a job as a part-time barista so I can begin to guide for a nonprofit who aims to take low income kids and refugees on outdoor adventures (which I am super psyched on). We also help run a local skate ministry next door called RadPad Gathering, check us out on instagram: @radpadgathering. If you find yourself out here or anywhere in the area PLEASE reach out! We have a place for you or anyone you know. It would bring me so much joy to share a meal with you, coffee or a surf. May our home be a place of rest and safety. May it be a place of deep conversation, prayer, and wild times. My hope is that this "culture shock - settling" for me, in a sense, will be a time of newness and ultimately transform into a comfortable setting for those around us. This time of nesting could be just six months or it could evolve into something a bit longer and I am excited to see what time has to tell. I look forward to the day I come home and meet someone I don't know or see a tent city in my backyard, full of people sharing connections with one another. (that could be a far off dream but it's a dream nonetheless)... While the world swirls around us and things look crazy, I challenge myself and you to this: see the need around you and never tire from doing good... if we can all help in some small way, maybe that attempt will grow into something greater than we can ever imagine.
"When God's people are in need, be ready to help them. Always be eager to practice hospitality." - Romans 12.13
Please message me or email me if you are down to clown in Oside!! email@example.com.